ABCs of 2020: Bitterness

So I have been hurt, you have been hurt, everyone has been hurt. I find my most hurtful memories (for the most part) were not done deliberately. Bitterness is grown when that hurt festers. And as I reflected on this topic, I realized my bitterness (or hurt) stems from the difference between what I thought I “received” and what I expected…. So another words- bitterness is all on me and only me. Ouch!

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
Over the last couple of years, I have really worked on dropping unspoken expectations and have worked even harder to realize expectations I was holding unconsciously.
Don’t underestimate the power of bitterness- it will impact your mind, body, and spirit. When I notice my bitterness I have to pray. I have to pray for God’s help to disclose the real who, what, and why. I have to pray for God’s forgiveness of my bitter heart.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
I have to pray for grace and healing. I have to realign my focus to joy and love- and I have to do this purposefully.
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10 (NIV)
Typically, refocusing on the joy and love, will slowly kill the roots of my bitterness.

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Challenges.

ABCs of 2020: Action

This new series is going to dig a little deeper in the Word about one word. And what a better way to start the year and alphabet but with the word action.

Leaping into 2020 – I started to think about how I wanted this to be different from 2019- the year of courage. I realized the underlying theme- was to take good ideas, good plans, good intentions placed on my heart and put into action. 

I feel God used last year to build my trust. To feel excitement about the thoughts and ideas he placed on my heart. I let fear freeze my ideas. And in the last few months God has really been pointing out my lack of action. I keep hearing “actions speak louder than words.” That was an ouch moment…. Rather moments. 

I am a master at planning- but not so good about action in areas I feel inadequate. I am really good at putting things into action when I understand the big picture. But God doesn’t always reveal the big picture and is looking for you to just take the next turn. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

The Word has so so so much to say about taking action. So let’s dig a little deeper…

Action could be to start something, taking action to stop something, or taking action to rest in something. 

Geez. So many options. 

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 13:17 (NIV)

So as I start 2020 off….  I am tackling all three in small steps.

I am taking action to start the weekly ABCs series and diving deeper into the word- one word at a time.

I am taking action to stop Turing to sugar to comfort and energize. Today will be the first day of 40 for a faith based sugar fast. (Want more info go check it out- Wendy Speake’s 40 Day Sugar Fast)

I am taking action in resting (and praying) in his desire for this blog / community and the speed I take my ideas, so that they remain manageable and in His glory. 

At the end of the day, action is all about obedience to God. Take action even if that means action in being still when he calls you to. How do you take action in His glory?

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Bitterness.

Leap: January

I have this little corner desk area in our bedroom. On the wall I always post my word of the year. I see it multiple times a day and often stare and ponder what it means in that moment. What is the next leap?

Yesterday when I removed my 2019 word – courage- I felt a bit of sadness, “empty nest-ness.” I have been doing word of the year for 4 years now (balance → faith → love → courage). I can honestly say this is the first time I had trouble of letting go of a word. Who knew? Not sure what that means. But, I do know that it doesn’t mean to abandon my word leap. This was handed to me. I shared with my husband how back around Halloween I felt it – but fought it. I was convinced that wasn’t the word. Fear was driving that. I knew what it would mean to commit to leap, to commit to fully trusting him. I also shared that when I really committed to leap – it wasn’t long after I realized this year is a leap year. I laughed, looked up, and said allowed “funny, you got jokes.”

Part of my leaping year… I have chosen to use a monthly quote to help guide, motivate, and/or narrow my focus. The above quote by Seth Godwin is a great way to start the year.  The first part… “It always feels too soon to leap”, reminds me of,

However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Hard truth – we absolutely can not enjoy, we can not participate, we can not even see what he has prepared… until we leap.

Throughout the Bible, God has required believers to leap.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 (NIV)

Even knowing this with all my heart – one of biggest flaws I am trying to conquer – is fear paralysis caused by the what if? Must recite this over and over,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Noah leaped and built and arc, Abraham leaped and prepared to sacrifice his son, Rahab leaped and sheltered enemy spies, David leaped and confronted a giant, Peter leaped (well stepped) out of a boat… the list could go on. 

Do you have a time you leaped… trusted without seeing… a moment that you went from “you” to remarkable? Share your story… it just might be the push for my leap one day. 

Leaping into 2020

So my word of the year usually comes after lots of praying, pondering. This year my word of the year just hit me, bugged me (honestly) and stuck… months ago.

LEAP · verb ·  jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force

My image (at the top of the post) I created with my top four reasons why this is my year to leap. I get in my own way allot … what will people think… that it is scary… I am not capable. In 2020, I am going to conscienceless and deliberately work on trusting the Lord. Trust his urgings. Trust his path. Trust when I leap, no matter how far I actually go, his loving hand is there to bridge the gap.

I find is interesting, but not ironic, 2020 is a leap year…. a year with an extra day to help us “catch up” in the astrological and season cycle. I have been in season of spiritual, personal discovery and growth these last few years. Ironically, really starting in mid 2016, the last leap year. I sense a new “era” on the horizon… a new push to leap into the unknown and the uncomfortable… leap into a new season…

Leap 2020 Goals OFM

What is your word for 2020 going to be?